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FD - Moontears

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My entry for Round 2 of the NGADM '13 audio contest.

This track invokes various feelings like sadness, emptiness, loss, despair, inspired by real life happenings around the world with a hint of dreamy, abstract soundscapes and a surreal structure. It's also part of a personal project I will reveal in its conceptual phase in a fairly close future here on Newgrounds and my related social blogs.

May you enjoy the piece.

Note: This track "borrows" the main melody of Apeiron, a track I made in 2010, back when I was KKSlider60 here. I just felt like revamping it a bit.

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- NGADM Round 2 Review -

Your introduction is mysterious, and has a nice sound. However it begins to become drawn out. There is also a general lack of a distinctive melody for the first half of the piece, although I can see you were aiming more for a track based on atmosphere and emotion, for which of those two, you to do quite well. Your strings are great for the mood and you have some beautiful melodies going on into the second half. It begins to become emotional storm and it is really very expressive. The transition around 3:30 was out of place, however. Even if it was supposed to drift away from the despair and turmoil, what comes next sounds like it's supposed to have a sudden coldness, to take away from the mood that had previously been established; however it becomes numb and thoughtless, and makes for a rather poor transition. The strengths in this piece are definitely its atmospheric quality and emotional detail.

Score: 8.5

ForgottenDawn responds:

Thanks for your review.

NGADM Round 2 Review


As per usual, you continue to place me in a state of awe ForgottenDawn. You have the uncanny ability to produce the most unbelievably mystical, atmospheric, and imaginative tracks. I must admit that the title of the track was the first thing to open my imagination. After hearing some subtleties, I decided to turn up my volume a little. I can tell you that I was quite amazed by the different elements of detail you have sprinkled throughout this track. In fact, it was a little disturbing. These little details seem to transcend the idea of fundamental perception and they appeal to something of a primal nature. The 'cinematic' portion of the song was beautiful. I keep getting so many different images of despair and of mystery and mostly of the unknown...the theme could be interpreted in so many ways it seems. The mixing was superb.

While I enjoyed the message, themes, and atmospheric qualities of the track (wholeheartedly, might I add) I wish there was more to the 'instrumental' section of the song. The strings brought about raw emotion, and they do so quite easily, but I just feel as if there wasn't enough. I understand what your aim was, but just a little more detailing with the instruments would have been wonderful.

The track, in its entirety, is so solemn and full of atmosphere that is makes you realize that music is not all about pure melody and composition. Sometimes it is the message and emotion that matter most. Well done, my friend. :)

Score: 8.75/10

ForgottenDawn responds:

Thank you for your kind words. I really have nothing else to add to what you said, other than the fact I try to explore different realms of sound every time, as my imagination can't be confined to just one particular view or emotion. Thanks again. :)


The Good:
-Dat intro. Dat voice. So sexy. So mystical. Me gusta.
-All the background effects sound really nice.
-The strings at 1:27 are nice and strong, depicting the mood very clearly.
-Your overall atmosphere is spectacular, I can really feel myself in a place.
-Good mixing. Only a little bit of mud around 3 minutes in, no detectable clipping.

The Not-So-Good:
-The pad below at 0:17 seems like it's out-of-key a bit.
-Transition at 0:50 doesn't seem like it's done very well, there was very little leading up to it and it didn't change into something very connected with the first part.
-By 2 minutes in I'm wondering if you'll have any decently clear melody. While you do deliver shortly afterwards, there *needs* to have been something before now.
-The different sections don't seem very connected, and there's no clear main melody or chord progression. This is very soundtrack-y music, which aside from the atmosphere is very forgettable.
-Sudden outro. Try making a marker in FL and putting it a measure or two past the end to let the sound trail off a bit more.

Overall: Score of 7/10. The atmosphere is stunning, definitely one of the best of this round (and I haven't even heard most of them yet)! There's not much composition in this though, it's mainly atmosphere/pads/effects rather than composition. You can do better!

ForgottenDawn responds:

Hello Skye, thank you for passing by in this round. :)
I was looking forward to hearing your opinion about this, so let me tell you this: I liked the way you attempted to describe the various parts of the piece, but it seems to me you focused almost exclusively on the composition aspect rather than trying to decode the very essence of this track. Which is quite a pity, considering your usual focus on the ensemble as part of a bigger vision instead of trying very hard to nitpick and amplify fairly human mishaps, or even your own personal tastes regarding music in general. For instance, while I agree that I could have surely done better especially in the orchestral part, I don't think that the fact this piece sounds "soundtrack-y" and full of atmosphere should imply a sudden drop of your potential final score when music in general is a soundtrack to life, and failing to understand that is quite sad to me. I also openly disagree with what you said about the sections not being very connected as they do tell a story on their own and even Step below was able to decode the fine message behind the various sounds I used, so I might wonder what you did listen to or rather didn't listen to. Nonetheless, I feel rather amused by your critique and I look forward to hearing more from you in the next round. :)

This is an NGADM Round 2 review.


I was looking forward to hearing your Round 2 track, and I am sure as hell not disappointed. I'm going to start with the obvious atmosphere praise. You have such an incredible atmosphere, and while I personally would've preferred some more melodic elements in the intro (this is entirely personal preference, may I add), you've expertly crafted an atmosphere that depicts all of the moods and themes you mentioned in the author's comments with mathematical precision. What I was also very impressed with was the amount of detail you put into the piece. It doesn't seem like it at first, but there's a hell of a lot of subtle elements in play here. Once I turned the volume up I was engulfed in the atmosphere and was able to hear these miniscule details, like the static noise or what sounds like whispering/muttering in the 0:55 section.

The composition is beautiful. Melodically and harmonically, this track really excels. Your melody has a fantastic progression and is played on a very solid foundation of suitable chords and, of course, the dreariness and bleakness of your atmosphere. I like your idea of introducing low strings before bringing in the high strings; not only did the low strings help deepen the soundscape, but they made your introduction of high, emotional strings amidst a synthy, drone-like ambience sound more sensible. There's also nothing wrong with the production of this track. Everything's clear, and sounds amazing, especially those strings.

I would've liked some more textural changes in the part with the high strings. The texture over there is relatively unchanging, which feels like a disappointingly "safe" way to handle that section when before you used so many experimental and unique sounds that added to the atmosphere. That section also seems to be lacking slightly in low end. I would've liked the accompanying string chords to be deeper/bassier, or maybe some kind of atmospheric rumbling sound or bass synth to really cover up the full range of the mix. This is a slight issue, because that section is suitably deep, and if you introduce a low-end rumble, your timpani roll will lose a bit of its effect, so it's something I'm torn about. Speaking of the timpani roll, it's a bit abrupt; you could've let it ring out a little more. Lastly, I felt that when you finally do introduce the high strings, it was a tad bit abrupt; I would've liked a more subtle approach, where the high strings are kind of edged in smoothly.

Overall, that was an incredible listen, despite a few issues in the string section WHICH WAS BEAUTIFUL REGARDLESS. It's an improvement over your Round 1 track, and really provided the experience I was hoping to get from you.

Score: 8.8/10

ForgottenDawn responds:

Thank you Step, that was a great review and I absolutely agree with the points stated about the climatic part of Moontears. To be perfectly honest it was quite intimidating to handle for me at first since I felt like having indeed a great potential, especially considering the emotional value of a track like this, and in the end I chose to stuck my axe to a tree instead of cutting it down completely with the risk of ruining the wood if you know what I mean by that metaphor. I'm still sort of learning the dynamics in a mix, how to not leave audible "gaps" between the sounds without letting them sound either too sparse or, on the contrary, too intrusive. To share I guess, and keep up your insightful reviewing style.

Great work man. I especially like the string part after 2:12. So beautiful. Reminds me of some of Jóhann Jóhannsson's work and at least as good. I don't have any hints for you this time, other than to continue like this.

ForgottenDawn responds:

Thank you for your comment, I appreciate your support. I will leave a review to your entry soon.

Credits & Info

4.75 / 5.00

Aug 23, 2013
8:44 PM EDT
File Info
5 MB
4 min 21 sec

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